No Skype Toolbar for Firefox Users, Because It Crashes and Slows Down the Browser
Article by George Norman
On 21 Jan 2011
If you like the functionality the Skype Toolbar has too offer (in case you don’t know, it detects phone numbers in web pages, and re-renders them as a clickable button that can be used to dial the number using the Skype desktop application) and you like the Firefox browser, you can’t use them both. That’s because Skype Toolbar for Firefox causes Firefox 3.6.13, the latest stable version, to crash.

Since the development team behind the Firefox browser wants to provide users with an enjoyable browsing experience, and a crashing browser doesn’t fit that bill, the decision has been taken to block the toolbar. According to the Mozilla Add-ons team, last week the toolbar has been involved in more than 40,000 crashes.


If that wasn’t enough, some versions of the toolbar cause the browser to render webpages at a snail’s pace. The Mozilla Add-ons team explains: “Depending on the version of the Skype Toolbar you’re using, the methods it uses to detect and re-render phone numbers can make DOM manipulation up to 300 times slower, which drastically affects the page rendering times of a large percentage of web content served today (plain English: to the user, it appears that Firefox is slow loading web pages).”

Because the Skype Toolbar for Firefox can prove to be a big nuisance for the Firefox user, the toolbar is now being blocked.

“We’ll add all versions, up to and including the current shipping and beta versions, of the Skype Toolbar to the Mozilla Firefox Blocklist for all versions of Firefox. The blocklist entry will be a 'soft block', where the extension is disabled and the user is notified of the block and given the option to re-enable it if they choose,” explained the Add-ons Team.

Please note that only the toolbar within Firefox is a nuisance and it and it alone is being blocked and disabled. The Skype application for your desktop will not be affected; it will work as it always did.

And speaking of Skype, earlier this month the company announced that the number of concurrent logged in users has gone up to 28 million. That’s to say that there are 28 million Skype users online at the same time.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Skype, Skype Toolbar for Firefox, Crash, Blocklist
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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